July 24th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Mazzy Star was a dream pop/alternative band formed in 1989 from a band called Opal

Mazzy Star was a dream pop/alternative band formed in 1989 from a band called Opal

Hope Sandoval & David Roback of Mazzy Star
Hope Sandoval & David Roback of Mazzy Star

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazzy_Star

Mazzy Star was a dream pop/alternative band formed in 1989 from a band called Opal, a collaboration of guitarist David Roback (of the eighties paisley underground group Rain Parade) and bassist Kendra Smith (of Dream Syndicate fame). They were later joined by Smith's friend Hope Sandoval as the vocalist. Kendra Smith soon left the band. Mazzy Star is probably best known for the song "Fade Into You," which brought the band some success in the mid-1990s and was dream pop's biggest mainstream hit. Roback and Sandoval were the creative center of the band, with Sandoval writing most of the lyrics and Roback composing most of the music. Although the band never officially broke up (it is dormant), Sandoval would go on to found the band Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions, and appear on recordings by Bert Jansch, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Chemical Brothers, and Death in Vegas. The band also offered their song "Into
Chris Keeley

(no subject)

To make the letter look right, Marie needed a computer, so one day in March she walked to a public library



Life Experience: Johnson had seen plenty before she became a social worker. 

July 23, 2006

The Case of Marie and Her Sons

To make the letter look right, Marie needed a computer, so one day in March she walked to a public library. There she composed at the keyboard, but the writing didn’t go well. She had the first of her five children at 13, spent part of her teenage years in a group home and part in the home of her crack-addicted mother and never reached high school. “You know,” she told me later, “the way I sound sometimes doesn’t sound like it’s supposed to.” But she wasn’t leaving that library without the letter she needed. College students were studying nearby, and Marie, who is 29, interrupted one of the girls. To this stranger, she confided her situation. And soon, with the girl’s help, she began again.

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Chris Keeley

Rice described the plight of Lebanon as part of the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.”

Rice described the plight of Lebanon as part of the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” 

Report: Israel Drew Up Plans to Attack Lebanon Over a Year Ago
Meanwhile the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting Israel’s attack on Lebanon is based on well-developed plans. More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to diplomats, journalists and think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail. In his talks, the officer described a three-week campaign which involved ground troops being sent in during the third week. 

American Bar Association: Bush is Undermining the Constitution
The largest lawyers group in the country is warning that President Bush is undermining the constitution by claiming he has the authority to ignore laws passed by Congress. A new report by the American Bar Association criticizes the president’s use of what’s known as signing statements. Since he took office President Bush has issued over 750 signing statements – more than any president ever. ABA President Michael Greco said "We will be close to a constitutional crisis if this issue, the president's use of signing statements, is left unchecked." Bush has used signing statements to challenge laws including a congressional ban on torture, a request for data on the USA Patriot Act, whistle-blower protections and the banning of U.S. troops fighting in Colombia.



Chris Keeley

The Vietnam Syndrome

PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES NACHTWEY

In the 1960s, the United States blanketed the Mekong River delta with Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant more devastating than napalm. Thirty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the chemical is still poisoning the water and coursing through the blood of a third generation. From Ho Chi Minh City to the town of Ben Tre—and from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Hackettstown, New Jersey—the photographer James Nachtwey went in search of the ecocide's cruelest legacy, horribly deformed children in both Vietnam and America. Nachtwey, arguably the most celebrated war photographer of his generation, sees the former conflict in Southeast Asia as a touchstone for his work. "My decision to become a photographer," he says, "was inspired by photographs from the Vietnam War." This expanded photo essay from the land of Agent Orange—part of which appears in the August V.F. with an accompanying essay by Christopher Hitchens—makes clear, according to Nachtwey, that "the effects of war no longer end when the shooting stops."


Cam Lo, Quang Tri Province. Phan Thi Hoi bathes her 14-year-old son, Bui Quang Ky. She was exposed to Agent Orange when she was in the North Vietnamese Army during the war



A boy watches TV at Tu Du Hospital, in Ho Chi Minh City.



Seventeen-year-old Nguyen Thi Hue, who is blind, with her mother.



Nguyen Thanh Hai, 24, with his father, Nguyen Thanh Quang, in the foreground.
Chris Keeley

Tragedy enhanced Pollock’s status as the first American painter

on August 11, 1956, an Oldsmobile convertible driven by Jackson Pollock, who was drunk, hit a tree in the Springs, killing the artist and a passenger.

AMERICAN ABSTRACT
by PETER SCHJELDAHL
Real Jackson Pollock.
Issue of 2006-07-31
Posted 2006-07-24

Half a century ago, on August 11, 1956, an Oldsmobile convertible driven by Jackson Pollock, who was drunk, hit a tree in the Springs, killing the artist and a passenger. It’s a dismal enough anniversary—marked with scant attention by the finest art show in New York this summer, “No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock Paintings on Paper,” at the Guggenheim—but glamorous, in its way. Pollock, like other doomed artists and martyrs to fame in his era—Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean—advanced and, by destroying himself, oddly consecrated America’s postwar cultural ascendancy. Sometimes a new, renegade sensibility really takes hold only when somebody is seen to have died for it.

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Chris Keeley

Some suffer from mental illness or drug addiction. All must contend with taggers, gangbangers and po

Life on the river can be difficult, but he likes the freedom.

They also sell bikes that they piece together from discarded parts.


http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-river24jul24,1,4156350.story?page=3&coll=la-headlines-california
From the Los Angeles Times

Home of Their Own on L.A. River

For years, small groups of homeless people have lived in privacy along the concrete-lined channel. Now, city plans may drive them out.
By Arin Gencer
Times Staff Writer

July 24, 2006

Robin "Country" Boatner lounges in an outdoor chair, his back to a large tree that blunts the sunlight with the help of a white tarp stretched overhead. On a hook hangs a BB gun — used to shoot rats.

"It's primitive living," says Country, as his friends on the Los Angeles River call him.
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Chris Keeley

A bemused Wexler looked into the camera and said, ''I enjoy cocaine because it's a fun thing to do.'

I  enjoy the company of prostitutes for the following reasons ... because it's a fun thing to do. If you combine the two together, it's probably even more fun.'' 

Cocaine, Prostitutes "fun things to do"
 
 

Video: Representative Wexler on 'The Colbert Report' (You Tube)

Congressman Jokes About Cocaine on TV
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 1:15 p.m. ET

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler says he was just playing along with the joke when comedian Stephen Colbert prodded him in an interview to say: ''I enjoy cocaine because it's a fun thing to do.''

The Florida congressman who is unchallenged for re-election appeared on Colbert's Comedy Central show and was asked to say a few things that would ''really lose the election for you if you were contested.''

Colbert asked the congressman to complete this sentence: ''I enjoy cocaine because ... ''

A bemused Wexler looked into the camera and said, ''I enjoy cocaine because it's a fun thing to do.''

A follow-up in the complete-the-sentence questioning led to this comment: ''I enjoy the company of prostitutes for the following reasons ... because it's a fun thing to do. If you combine the two together, it's probably even more fun.''

Wexler told The Palm Beach Post after his interview aired last week that he had never seen the show before and only agreed to appear at the urging of his younger staffers.

Asked what his teenage children thought of his performance, he said: ''They thought I was foolish.''

Monday, Wexler told The Associated Press he was fully aware of what was happening in the interview and had no regrets.

''I think it's an important thing for members of Congress to be able to participate in a good-natured joke,'' he said. ''Everyone who watches the show knows that what is being said is a joke and that it's about silly topics. I thought it was funny.''

Wexler isn't the only congressional member to be caught off guard on Colbert's show. When U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Orlando, appeared, Colbert asked whether it was difficult getting his rumored toupee through airport security. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is gay, was asked what it's like to be ''an openly left-handed'' American.